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Undeceptions with John Dickson
12 minutes | Jan 23, 2022
Knights of Christ
John Dickson's Bullies and Saints is a super-podcast providing excerpts of the book by the same name - a no-holds-barred look at the best and worst of church history.In this edition, John Dickson introduces us to two characters that display all that’s been good and bad about the followers of Jesus - Ebolus the crossbowman and Bernard of Clairvaux.Click here to buy a copy of Bullies and Saints, or here to own the entire audiobook.And for even more on the history of Christianity, and how well the church is mirroring the message that Jesus handed on, head over to the Undeceptions website.
15 minutes | Jan 16, 2022
John Dickson's Bullies and Saints is a super-podcast providing excerpts of the book by the same name - a no-holds-barred look at the best and worst of church history.In this edition, John investigates the accusation that Christianity is a faith that was propagated by the sword rather than peace. Are Christians guilty of their own jihad?Click here to buy a copy of Bullies and Saints, or here to own the entire audiobook.And for even more on the history of Christianity, and how well the church is mirroring the message that Jesus handed on, head over to the Undeceptions website.
14 minutes | Jan 9, 2022
The Birth of Charity
John Dickson's Bullies and Saints is a super-podcast providing excerpts of the book by the same name - a no-holds-barred look at the best and worst of church history.In this episode, John Dickson gives us an insight into the invention of charity, and just how revolutionary the Christian call to love one another proved for the ancient world.Click here to buy a copy of Bullies and Saints, or here to own the entire audiobook.And for even more on the history of Christianity, and how well the church is mirroring the message that Jesus handed on, head over to the Undeceptions website.
13 minutes | Jan 2, 2022
John Dickson's Bullies and Saints is a super-podcast providing excerpts of the book by the same name - a no-holds-barred look at the best and worst of church history.In this edition, John uncovers the character of the earliest Christians, how it contrasted with the world around them, and how ‘in tune’ it was with the beautiful melody that Jesus set them to sing.Click here to buy a copy of Bullies and Saints, or here to own the entire audiobook.And for even more on the history of Christianity, and how well the church is mirroring the message that Jesus handed on, head over to the Undeceptions website.
14 minutes | Dec 26, 2021
Peter The Hermit
John Dickson's Bullies and Saints is a super-podcast providing excerpts of the book by the same name - a no-holds-barred look at the best and worst of church history.In this episode, John Dickson takes us to the Crusades and introduces one of the most infamous crusaders of all: Peter the Hermit, a fire and brimstone Christian if ever there was one.Click here to buy a copy of Bullies and Saints, or here to own the entire audiobook.And for even more on the history of Christianity, and how well the church is mirroring the message that Jesus handed on, head over to the Undeceptions website.
65 minutes | Dec 19, 2021
This episode was sponsored by Zondervan’s new book Ethics Beyond Rules, by Keith D Stanglin. Visit the undeceptions.com for more content, including the full show notes for this episode.Follow the show on Twitter and InstagramEmail the show with your comments / feedback: firstname.lastname@example.orgUndeceptions is the flagship podcast of Undeceptions.com: Letting the truth out.Theme music: JS Bach's Cello Suites, Prelude, performed by the Undeceptions Band. Hosted by John DicksonProduced by Kaley Payne Directed by Mark Hadley Audio Editing by Richard HamwiCopyright Undeceptions Ltd 2021
72 minutes | Dec 12, 2021
This episode was sponsored by Zondervan’s new book ‘Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth’ by Thaddeus J Williams.Visit undeceptions.com for more content, including the full show notes for this episode.Follow the show on Twitter and InstagramEmail the show with your comments / feedback: email@example.comUndeceptions is the flagship podcast of Undeceptions.com: Letting the truth out.Theme music: JS Bach's Cello Suites, Prelude, performed by the Undeceptions Band. Hosted by John DicksonProduced by Kaley Payne Directed by Mark Hadley Audio Editing by Richard HamwiCopyright Undeceptions Ltd 2021
22 minutes | Dec 8, 2021
Christmas Star single
Dr. Chris Forbes brings his expertise in the Greco-Roman world to bear on why historians believe the story of the three magi and the star over a stable might actually be based in fact.Join John Dickson as these two historical boffins discuss astrological formations, ancient king-makers and a reasonable explanation for an interstellar night light in Bethlehem.
71 minutes | Dec 5, 2021
Question Answer V
This episode was sponsored by Zondervan's new book Urban Apologetics by Eric Mason. Visit the undeceptions.com for more content, including the full show notes for this episode.Follow the show on Twitter and InstagramEmail the show with your comments / feedback: firstname.lastname@example.orgUndeceptions is the flagship podcast of Undeceptions.com: Letting the truth out.Theme music: JS Bach's Cello Suites, Prelude, performed by the Undeceptions Band. Hosted by John DicksonProduced by Kaley Payne Directed by Mark Hadley Audio Editing by Richard HamwiCopyright Undeceptions Ltd 2021
64 minutes | Nov 28, 2021
The cliche is: ‘faith’ is the antithesis of knowledge … of wisdom. And therefore “Christian philosophy” is an oxymoron, right?Our guests today, though are professional philosophers and they reckon that, while Christians could do with a healthy dose of philosophy, so could sceptics. We all need to think deeply about what we believe, and why we believe it.And if you think – as atheists like Sam Harris and many others do – that scepticism or atheism doesn’t involve any mere ‘beliefs’, well, you probably especially need to think this stuff through. This episode is sponsored by Zondervan’s 10th Anniversary edition of Seven Days that Divide the World by John Lennox.For the full show notes, go to undeceptions.com.
65 minutes | Nov 21, 2021
This episode was sponsored by Zondervan's new book Believing Philosophy by Dolores G. Morris.OUR GUESTSDouglas J. Moo is a New Testament scholar who, after teaching for more than twenty years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois, has served as Blanchard Professor of New Testament at the Wheaton College Graduate School since 2000. His latest book is A Theology of Paul and His Letters. Lynn H. Cohick is an American New Testament scholar and author. Since January 2021 she has been Provost, Academic Dean and Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary.LINKS Read 2 Corinthians 11 for yourself, which you hear at the beginning of our episode. AN Wilson's biography of Paul: Paul: The Mind of the Apostle. Watch the 2018 film Paul, Apostle of Christ, with James Faulkner playing Paul. Read more about Gamaliel, Paul's teacher. NT Wright's biography of Paul: Paul: A Biography. Watch the full monologue of Paul that we played during the episode, by Vantage Stories as acted by Andrew Branham. Here are the various theories on what happened to Paul on the road to Damascus: Paul saw a fireball meteor and was 'blinded by the light'. Paul had temporal lobe epilepsy. Evidence for Paul and his life (outside the Book of Acts and Paul's own letters) First Letter of Clement Multiple references to Paul in the writings of Ignatius of Antioch Check out our very first episode, Old Papers, when John got to examine some of the earliest manuscripts of Paul's letters, called P46. Here is Barrie Wilson's book, How Jesus Became Christian... though this whole episode is basically refuting his position. Read more from Lynn Cohick on Paul and women: Why the Apostle Paul doesn't hate women: Eternity News Women in the early church, from The Table Podcast, Dallas Theological Seminary. Lynn Cohick on Ephesians, from the Crux Sola blog on Patheos. For the 20+ details we learn about Jesus just from Paul's letters, listen to Episode 25, Bible Mistakes with Craig Blomberg or read the '5 Minute Jesus' from that episode, here. In a bonus answer for our Q&A episode in Season 3, John answered a listener question about the authorship of the Book of Hebrews, one of the letters that many scholars suggest wasn't written by Paul. Listen to John's answer here. Read the full article by Tom Holland, which Tom kindly read for us for the conclusion of this episode. It's called Paul the Apostle and the Creation of Christianity from HistoryAnswers.
65 minutes | Nov 14, 2021
This episode is sponsored by Zondervan's new book Person of Interest: Why Jesus still matters in a world that rejects the Bible by J. Warner Wallace.Meet Our Guests Nigel Biggar: Regius Professor of Moral & Pastoral Theology, and Director of the McDonald Centre for Theology, Ethics, & Public Life, University of Oxford. Andrew Hastie: Australian Federal Member for Canning and Assistant Minister for Defence. Former Officer, Australian Defence Force. Links “There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people," is a quote from Howard Zinn's 2011 book On War. We quote statistics from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. The Effect of War on Economic Growth, report from Cato Institute. Listen to Winston Churchill's full speech, We Will Never Surrender, from 1940. Read Nigel Biggar's book, In Defence of War. Find out more about Augustine's City of God. You can read more of the letters between Augustine and his Christian military officers,Marcellinus and Boniface, here. Australian war casualty statistics are from the Australian War Memorial. Read Romans 13 for yourself. Mike Bird was one of our 'phone a friend' guests for this episode. He wrote The Story of God commentary for the Book of Romans for Zondervan and is a lecturer at Ridley College. Henry Chadwick is the great Augustine biographer. He wrote the Oxford Very Short Introduction to Augustine which you can find here. Read the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reporting on the alleged war crimes committed by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan. You can find the full Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force Afghanistan Inquiry report (commonly known as the Brereton Report), here. More on Thomas Aquinas and Just War. We did a big, two-part episode on the Crusades in Season 4 - called 'God's War I and II'. Learn more about General William Tecumseh Sherman, the Union General who said, "War is hell". Jarrod McKenna was another of our lovely 'phone a friend' guests for this episode. He is an advocate for non-violence direct action. Christianity Today profiled a series of 'Christian soldiers' back in 2015 for a series called Ponder Christian Soldiers. We featured a clip from The West Wing, Season 1 Episode 3: A Proportional Response. Find out more about Carl von Clauswitz and his 1832 tome, On War. Here's the Australian Defence Force Philosophical Doctrine we quote from towards the end of the episode. Here's the plot of Shakespeare's Henry V. Watch The Hollow Crown: Henry V.
77 minutes | Nov 7, 2021
This episode is sponsored by Zondervan's new book Why is there suffering? by Bethany Sollereder.Download the transcript for this episode here.Meet our GuestThe Rev Dr George AthasGeorge is Director of Research and Lecturer in Old Testament and Hebrew at Moore Theological College in Sydney.Featured MusicMichael Levyis a composer for the lyre. His music is a blend of some original ancient melodies and some of his own creations. His arrangements for solo lyre are based on reconstructions of some of the incredibly rare, actual surviving written music of antiquity. We played two of these reconstructions in our episode, with permission: Ma Tovu and Kandel's Hora. You can find out more about Michael's work, and listen to more of his music at ancientlyre.com.Yamma Ensemble is an Israeli world music group who have a beautiful love of the Hebrew language and ancient instruments. We played parts of their live recordings of Psalm 104 (see below) and also a track featuring the ancient Shofar, based on the Mi'mekomcha, a Jewish prayer. All music used with permission. Links Here's a basic timeline of Jerusalem that might be helpful to get your bearings. Watch Alexander, the 2004 biopic we reference at the top of the ep. Though, to be honest, it really wasn't very good. Get the Oxford Classical Dictionary here. Read a little more about George Athas's upcoming book Bridging The Testaments (Zondervan Academic) in this article he wrote for Eternity News. Read George's PhD thesis, The Tel Dan Inscription (Sheffield Academic Press) which focused on the amazing 1993 discovery in Galilee of an inscription mentioning the dynasty of king David (of David and Goliath fame) - it’s likely the first mention of David outside the Bible. Here's an interesting New York Times article about Jewish communities in Myanmar and India who claim to be descendants of the lost tribes of Israel. Find out more about the archaeological evidence we have for the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple ('the first temple') by the Babylonians in 586 BC. Take a look at the Cyrus Cylinder, housed in the British Museum, which features an inscription mentioning how wonderful the Persian King Cyrus is, of course, but also that he allowed certain subjugated peoples - like the Jews - to return to their homelands and restore their own temples. So, what's The Talmud? Here's an introduction. The Jewish Virtual Library has a heap of maps from this period, so you can see stretch of the Assyrian Empire, the Babylonian Empire, the Persian Empire, the Hellenistic World and the Herodian Kingdom. You might like to check out the 1998 documentary In The Footsteps of Alexander to get a good overview of Alexander The Great. Get to know more about Ben Sira. This YouTube discovery - a Maccadean/Hamilton mash up - made Producer Kaley's day. Read more from Josephus on The Jewish War and Antiochus IV Ephiphanes persecution of the Jewish people. Meet the High Priest Simon (also called 'Simon the Just') Then, meet Antipater, the Roman-friendly governor of Judaea and founder of the Herodian Dynasty (father of Herod The Great) And then, of course, there's Herod I The Great, who was later made King of Judaea by the Romans. Take a look at Herod's Temple, the 'Second Temple'.And also, this article about the engineering feat of the temple and those massive foundation stones. Josephus records: Herod announced, "I know the Jews will greet my death with wild rejoicings; but I can be mourned on other people's account and make sure of a magnificent funeral if you will do as I tell you. These men under guard — as soon as I die, kill them all…." Salome disobeyed, and released the prisoners when Herod died, Josephus added. Herod died a very painful death, and his symptoms were recorded in detail. Read this article for more gross details after Jan Hirschmann, professor of medicine at the University of Washington, in Seattle, analysed his symptoms and gave her own diagnosis in 2002 (article from The New Scientist) Who wrote Ecclesiastes? Read this analysis from Zondervan Academic and John Walton. This is a really indepth article on the challenges in dating the Book of Daniel, from The Gospel Coalition. Here's the verse in the Book of Jude that references the apocryphal text 1 Enoch. Here's what John Dickson said about that reference in the episode: "This isn’t necessarily because Jude thought 1 Enoch was Old Testament Scripture - it wasn’t! - but he did think it made an excellent theological point - about the coming judgment of God - and so it was worth citing with approval. " Here are some readings from the so-called 'intertestamental texts': From the Book of 1 Maccabees:1Mac. 4:30-43 When he saw that their army was strong, he prayed, saying, “Blessed are you, O Savior of Israel, who crushed the attack of the mighty warrior by the hand of your servant David, and gave the camp of the Philistines into the hands of Jonathan son of Saul, and of the man who carried his armor. 31 Hem in this army by the hand of your people Israel, and let them be ashamed of their troops and their cavalry. 32 Fill them with cowardice; melt the boldness of their strength; let them tremble in their destruction. 33 Strike them down with the sword of those who love you, and let all who know your name praise you with hymns.”1Mac. 4:34 Then both sides attacked, and there fell of the army of Lysias five thousand men; they fell in action.a 35 When Lysias saw the rout of his troops and observed the boldness that inspired those of Judas, and how ready they were either to live or to die nobly, he withdrew to Antioch and enlisted mercenaries in order to invade Judea again with an even larger army.Cleansing and Dedication of the Temple1Mac. 4:36 Then Judas and his brothers said, “See, our enemies are crushed; let us go up to cleanse the sanctuary and dedicate it.” 37 So all the army assembled and went up to Mount Zion. 38 There they saw the sanctuary desolate, the altar profaned, and the gates burned. In the courts they saw bushes sprung up as in a thicket, or as on one of the mountains. They saw also the chambers of the priests in ruins. 39 Then they tore their clothes and mourned with great lamentation; they sprinkled themselves with ashes 40 and fell face down on the ground. And when the signal was given with the trumpets, they cried out to Heaven.1Mac. 4:41 Then Judas detailed men to fight against those in the citadel until he had cleansed the sanctuary. 42 He chose blameless priests devoted to the law, 43 and they cleansed the sanctuary and removed the defiled stones to an unclean place. From the Book of 1 Enoch:1Enoch 1:1-10 - The word of blessing of Enoch, as he blessed the elect and righteous, who will be present in the day of distress, when all the enemies are removed, and the righteous will be saved. 2 And he took up his parable and said: “Enoch is a righteous person, to whom a vision from God was opened to him, having the vision of the Holy one and of the heaven. It was shown to me, and I heard the holy messengers, and as I heard from them everything and understood I saw, but I was not considering the present generation, but I speak to one being distant. 3 and concerning the present elect I said, and concerning them I raised my parable: My great holy one will go forth from his habitation, 4 and the God of eternity will walk upon the earth, upon Mount Sinai and he will appear from his camp, and he will appear in the power of his might from the heaven of heavens. 5 And all will be afraid and the Watchers will believe, and they will sing hidden things to all the heights of the [earth]. And all the heights of the earth will shake, and trembling will take hold of them and great fear up to the ends of the earth. 6 And the mountain will be shaken and will fall and will be scattered, and the high and lofty mountains will be brought low, to be passed, and they will melt as wax before a fire in flame. 7 And the earth will be torn asunder (into) a split crevice, and all that is on the earth will be destroyed, and judgment will be upon all. 8 And with the righteous he will make peace, and upon the elect will be preservation and peace, and mercy will be given to them, and all will be of God, and he will give approval to them and he will bless all, and he will take hold of all, and he will help me, and light will appear to them and upon them he will make peace. 9 He comes with his myriads and with his holy ones, to make judgment against all, and he will destroy all the ungodly, and convict all flesh about all works of their ungodliness which they in an ungodly way committed and the harsh words which they have spoken. From Ben SiraBen Sira 2:1-18. My child, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for testing. 2 Set your heart right and be steadfast, and do not be impetuous in time of calamity.3 Cling to him and do not depart, so that your last days may be prosperous.4 Accept whatever befalls you, and in times of humiliation be patient.5 For gold is tested in the fire, and those found acceptable, in the furnace of humiliation. 6 Trust in him, and he will help you; make your ways straight, and hope in him.7 You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy; do not stray, or else you may fall.8 You who fear the Lord, trust in him, and your reward will not be lost.9 You who fear the Lord, hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy. 10 Consider the generations of old and see: has anyone trusted in the Lord and been disappointed? Or has anyone persevered in the fear of the Lord and been forsaken? Or has anyone called upon him and been neglected?11 For the Lord is compassionate and merciful; he forgives sins and saves in time of distress.12 Woe to timid hearts and to slack hands, and to the sinner who walks a double path!13 Woe to the fainthearted who have no trust! Therefore they will have no shelter.14 Woe to you who have lost your nerve! What will you do when the Lord’s reckoning comes?15 Those who fear the Lord do not disobey his words, and those who love him keep his ways.16 Those who fear the Lord seek to please him, and those who love him are filled with his law.17 Those who fear the Lord prepare their hearts, and humble themselves before him.18 Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, but not into the hands of mortals; for equal to his majesty is his mercy, and equal to his name are his works. From the Dead Sea Scrolls, the so called Messianic Apocalypse which was discovered in Cave 4 at Qumran (scrolls were scattered across eleven caves at the site). Though fragmentary, the passage powerfully expresses the Jewish hope for a Messiah, an eternal kingdom and the healings and good news promised centuries earlier by the prophet Isaiah:"… the earth will listen to his anointed one (mashiach /messiah) [and all] that is in them will not turn away from the precepts of the holy ones … For he [the Lord] will honour the pious upon the upon the throne of an eternal kingdom, freeing prisoners, giving sight to the blind, straightening out the twis[ted.] … And the Lord will perform marvellous acts such as have not existed, just as he sa[id,] [for] he will heal the badly wounded and will make the dead live, he will proclaim good news to the poor." 4Q521. OK... now, who are the Essenes? The Sadducees? The Pharisees? The Zealots? Read again Luke 4:16 - 21:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,because he has anointed meto proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captivesand recovering of sight to the blind,to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
52 minutes | Oct 31, 2021
Some would say that an ancient faith like Christianity won’t survive outer space -- especially as we explore further than we ever have before. This episode is sponsored by Zondervan's new book 'The Theology of Paul and His Letters' by Douglas J Moo. COMPETITION!Go to Apple Podcasts, write a review of Undeceptions, send us a screenshot of what you wrote, and we have a free hardcover copy of John Dickson's new book Bullies and Saints for the 5 best-written reviews. Extra points for using the Oxford comma! Details in the shownotes for this episode.To WIN, all you have to do is leave us a review on Apple Podcasts (what used to be called iTunes), take a pic of the review and send it to us. Producer Kaley will pick the 5 best-written reviews in the next few weeks. LINKS Want more Space stats (so you can be more like Director Mark)? Click here. Here's some more about becoming an astronaut and the US Military Academy at West Point. Jeff Williams said he was inspired to become an astronaut after reading Tom Wolfe's book The Right Stuff. Here's something fun: Captain Kirk (aka William Shatner) went to the "edge of space" on Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin rocket. Jeff Williams went to space for the first time in NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis, which is now as exhibit at the Kennedy Space Centre. You can also watch the final Atlantis flight to the International Space Station here. Read more about the 5000-year-old rock paintings in Karkom, southern Israel. What's an Exoplanet? All our science fiction references: Interstellar (2014) Arrival (2016) Stephen Hawking's first extinction prediction (1000 years), as reported by The Washington Post. Annnd.... Stephen Hawking's updated prediction: He gave humans a deadline of 100 years to leave earth. Read more about Elon Musk's grand space plans in this Australian Broadcasting Corporation story, Launching Starship: Inside Elon Musk's plan to perfect the rocket to take humanity to Mars.Also this from Futurism: When will the first human leave the Solar System? Deborah Haarsma enjoyed The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, a novel that traces the fate of the first manned expedition to the stars. Here's a NYT review of the book from 1996. We quote CS Lewis from the first book of his acclaimed Space Trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet . “We are not fit yet to visit other worlds. We have filled our own with massacre, torture, syphilis, famine, dust bowls and with all that is hideous to ear or eye. Must we go on to infect new realms?” And this other CS Lewis quote from his 1963 essay "We might meet a species which, like us, needed Redemption but had not been given it. But would this fundamentally be more of a difficulty than any Christian’s first meeting with a new tribe of savages? It would be our duty to preach the Gospel to them. For if they are rational, capable both of sin and repentance, they are our brethren, whatever they look like.” "Space exploration leads directly to religious and philosophical questions" – Carl Sagan from this BBC article. Here's some of that Kremlin propaganda against religion, depicting Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in space with the words "There is no God". Buzz Aldrin took communion in space and, on his return journey from the moon to the earth on Apollo 11, read aloud the words of Psalm 8: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou has ordained; What is man that thou art mindful of him? And the Son of Man, that thou visitest Him?" Aldrin said later that NASA had asked him not to read the Bible passage, with the agency still reeling from a lawsuit (that was ultimately dismissed) brought by atheist activist Madalyn Murray O'Hair had claimed that a broadcast of astronauts reading from the Book of Genesis during the Apollo 8 mission violated the separation of church and state.
58 minutes | Oct 24, 2021
Download the transcript for this episode here.COMPETITION!We’re celebrating our 500,000th download this month - half a million! And so, with the help of our major sponsor, Zondervan, we are giving away a book pack of five of Zondervan’s newest titles. We’ll throw in a copy of my new book Bullies and Saints AND an Undeceptions T-Shirt.To WIN, all you have to do is leave us a review on Apple Podcasts (what used to be called iTunes), take a pic of the review and send it to us. Producer Kaley will pick the best-written review on October 25 (and I mean ‘best-written’ not necessarily most glowing). So be quick, you’ve got two weeks! LINKS Meet our guests: Sam Allberry, author and pastor. Ronald Sharp, author of Norton Book of Friendship Read Sam Allberry's book Seven Myths about Singleness and find his other books here. Here are the links to all the studies we referenced in this episode: Death of a close friend: Short and long-term impacts on physical, psychological and social well-being, PLoS ONE Friendship enriches your life and improves your health: Mayo Clinic The State of American Friendship, 2021 American Perspectives Survey More on Plutarch. Read the Tu Fu poem, To Wei Pa, A Retired Scholar, translated by Kenneth Rexroth Learn more about the Book of Proverbs, and read it for yourself. Read more about the debate over anti-semitism in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, in this article from the Smithsonian Magazine. Read about David and Jonathan's close friendship from the book of 1 Samuel. Read more about Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep from Ancient Egypt in this New York Times article. Further Evidence that Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep were Twins, Journal of Ancient Archaeology Learn more about the friendship between King Richard I and King Philip II. Here's The Guardian's article about whether Jesus was gay. Read Ronald Sharp's article, Mateship, Friendship and National Identity for the Australian Book Review. Never seen Crocodile Dundee? It's probably about time... Learn more about CS Lewis' 'four loves'. Listen to previous episodes of Undeceptions with John and his best mate, Ben Shaw (who died in June 2021 after a battle with cancer).
64 minutes | Oct 17, 2021
Download the transcript for this episode here.COMPETITION!We’re celebrating our 500,000th download this month - half a million! And so, with the help of our major sponsor, Zondervan, we are giving away a book pack of five of Zondervan’s newest titles. We’ll throw in a copy of my new book Bullies and Saints AND an Undeceptions T-Shirt.To WIN, all you have to do is leave us a review on Apple Podcasts (what used to be called iTunes), take a pic of the review and send it to us. Producer Kaley will pick the best-written review on October 25 (and I mean ‘best-written’ not necessarily most glowing). So be quick, you’ve got two weeks! LINKS Get to know our guest, Professor Xi Lian. Read Professor Lian's book, Blood Letters: The untold story of Lin Zhao, a martyr in Mao's China. You might also like to seek out Professor Lian's other relevant books Redeemed by Fire: The rise of popular Christianity in modern China and also The Conversion of Missionaries: Liberalism in American Protestant Missions in China, 1907–1932. Meet our other guest I'Ching Thomas. Read I'Ching Thomas' book, Jesus The Path to Human Flourishing : The Gospel for the Cultural Chinese Read more about Daoism (or Taoism). Get a broader background on Chinese religion from National Geographic. More on the All Souls celebrations around China. Dig deeper into the idea of 'Actionless Action' or 'Wu Wei' here. Read the Analects of Confucius. Find out more about Christianity in communist China in this article from The Gospel Coalition. Winfried Corduan's book Neighbouring Faiths is referenced by I'Ching Thomas about polytheism vs monotheism (amongst other things). Read more about Christianity in China from this article from 2020 in The Economist. And this from Time about the imprisonment of a pastor Wang Yi (who led one of China's most well-known underground churches). Here's more about the 'sinicization of religion' in China from the Lausanne Movement. Read this article from the New York Times about China's 12 core socialist values. Christianity's growth in China is hard to predict, but Professor Fenggang Yang from Purdue University has given it a crack, estimating that China will become the largest Christian country in the world by 2030.
63 minutes | Oct 10, 2021
COMPETITION!We’re celebrating our 500,000th download this month - half a million! And so, with the help of our major sponsor, Zondervan, we are giving away a book pack of five of Zondervan’s newest titles. We’ll throw in a copy of my new book Bullies and Saints AND an Undeceptions T-Shirt. To WIN, all you have to do is leave us a review on Apple Podcasts (what used to be called iTunes), take a pic of the review and send it to Producer Kaley at email@example.com. We'll pick the best-written review on October 25 (and I mean ‘best-written’ not necessarily most glowing). So be quick, you’ve got two weeks! LINKS Read the CNN report about the happiest country in the world for 2021. Watch the full report from VICE News on whether Finland is actually that happy. This one's from 2019 - Finland has been the happiest country in the world for four years running. Read a little more from 20th Century philosopher Bertrand Russell on the conquest of happiness from Brain Pickings (one of those websites you'll get lost in ... see you next Tuesday). Meet our guest, Miroslav Volf. Read more about one his courses at Yale, 'Christ and the Good Life' here. And check out the centre he helped set up, the Yale Centre of Faith and Culture Watch this video chat between Volf and his teacher, Jürgen Moltmann (who John calls "one of the great theologians of the 20th Century) Read Flourishing by Miroslav Volf. Read this New York Times article, 'The other side of languishing is flourishing. Here's how to get there.' Languishing, by the way, is the emotion that the NYT reckons may just be the dominant emotion of 2021. Good thing you've listened to this episode, then. If you want to read more about Asceticism, go here. Other Undeceptions episodes mentioned in this ep are: Everyday Sacred (Ep 47), where we talk to Andrew Wilson and Tish Harrison Warren about finding God in "stuff". Guilty Conscience (Ep 39), where we speak to Tyler VanderWeele towards the end about the health benefits of forgiveness. Mental Health (Ep 38), where we speak to Tyler VanderWeele on the impact of religious communities on mental health. Social Capital (Ep 5), where we to Andrew Leigh about the benefits of religious communities not just on individuals but society more generally. More on Francis of Assisi here. Or read his writings for yourself, here. The Michel Onfray quote, "Religions' glorification of a fictional beyond prevents full enjoyment of the real here below. They establish death on earth for the sake of eternity in heaven and seek to promote self hatred to the detriment of the body" is from The Atheist Manifesto. More on Dionysus, here. Meet our next guest, Tyler VanderWeele. Tyler heads up Harvard University's Human Flourishing Program. His latest book was published in 2021, called Measuring Well-Being You can find most of Tyler's research on religion, health and flourishing here. For an introduction on Aristotle, the Oxford Very Short Introduction series is good. Read (or re-read) Jesus's Sermon on the Mount.
6 minutes | Oct 3, 2021
This Henry Lawson poem, though written in the Australian outback in the 19th Century, still captures what a lot of people see as wrong with Christianity and what they wish it was like.
21 minutes | Sep 26, 2021
Shabnam Safa was just 15 years old when she arrived in Australia as a refugee. As a young child, her family had fled war-torn Afghanistan to a refugee camp on the border of Pakistan where she grew up listening to stories of the terror of life under the Taliban. She spoke to John Dickson about her distress about the Taliban retaking control of Afghanistan and her fears for her home country. As so many of us watch from our lounge rooms, is there anything we can actually do to help those fleeing danger?
10 minutes | Sep 19, 2021
Author and highly sought-after speaker Sam Allberry talks us through 'intersectionality' and ponders the wisdom and boundaries of this way of bestowing moral authority. "Just as those who stand at an intersection can see in more directions than those who don't, so too - according to this thinking - those at the intersection of multiple minority and victim groups have more insight to bring to society."
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